Tatiana Calderon gave a great insight to InsideF2 on her role in helping inspire aspiring female racing drivers during her return to FIA Formula 2.
The Charouz driver said that ‘representation is vital’ and is hoping that more women can see motorsport as a career in the future.
She said: “I never thought I would be [an inspiration for aspiring female racing drivers]; it feels amazing to see so many girls cheering for you and telling you that they want to be a racing driver because they saw you race.
“As women, we have to support each other, and sometimes you have to see it to believe it.
So, I hope that through the experience I have gained over the last couple of years at the teams that have worked for me, that I have put [something] into place so we can see more and more girls joining this kind of paddock.
“I’m going to be a bit more involved now with F3 and with F2 to help make everything… a bit more equal, so hopefully we can start to change the narrative.”
The 29-year-old last raced in Formula 2 in 2019 for Arden, and Charouz drafted Calderon in this year after gaining sponsorship from Colombian songwriter Karol G.
The former Alfa Romeo test and development driver explained: “[It is] still surreal to think that I was racing in IndyCar and that I got a really late call and also sponsored by a big Colombian artist I admire quite a lot, Karol G.
“So, thanks to her, I’m racing here and thanks to Charouz for the opportunity and trust.
“It’s not easy to jump in halfway – or more than halfway through the season straight into Spa and Zandvoort, so really happy to be back and having a second opportunity in Formula Two”
Calderon also explained the differences in training between men and women and the subtle differences in qualifying from IndyCar to Formula 2.
She said: “We are different, so the way women have to train, the muscles we have to train, how many times… it’s very different to the guys because our hormonal system is completely different.
“The ergonomic of the car, the way you sit and, on top of that, the mental side and the way we feel the car.”
Calderon continued discussing the differences when driving in different racing series’.
“For example, for me, it’s quite difficult … to do a push, cool, push rather than in IndyCar your like push, push, push, push, and then you get the rhythm; you get everything along with it, and you have a feel for the car.
“Here [in F2], you don’t have that rhythm, so that also makes it a little bit more challenging for us.
“Especially just jumping in without any test days, so there are very different things that I had to learn and discover… [Also] there’s not much data for women racing drivers and how you have to train.
“But I’m really happy at the moment with the fitness level I’m in. Certainly what I’m doing is working and I’m happy to show to the world that we are capable of it.”
Image: Formula Motorsport Ltd